Console PC Convergence

I grew up playing video games, I play video games now, and I will continue playing the for the foreseeable future. I imagine that many of you Unix users are quite similar to me in that regard. Anyways, as I kid I grew up on a gameboy color, and both the PlayStation 1 and PlayStation 2. Nowadays, I am far too fixated on PC gaming to bother with gaming on consoles anymore, but the PlayStation 4 announcement that happened just recently really caught my attention.The system will run on an AMD-based x86 processor. That’s certainly a first for a game console. I know that Linux has been installed on PlayStation 3s before, but the performance wasn’t anything spectacular because the kernel is generally optimized for x86 processors. Assuming Sony doesn’t prevent other OS from being installed (I certainly wouldn’t put it past them) one could potentially install any modern distro of linux onto a PlayStation 4 and be able to use it as any normal computer would. In fact, one might even be able to get Windows up and running on one (as interesting as that would be because Microsoft is Sony’s competitor in the console arena). On the other hand, rumors about Microsoft’s next Xbox console suggest hardware that is quite similar to the PlayStation 4’s. We can most likely expect to see an AMD x86 CPU in that console as well. Considering this, Microsoft definitely has the capability of installing their Windows operating system on their Xbox consoles. It would certainly be interesting to see that happen. People nowadays expect their devices to have multiple uses. Nobody uses telephones anymore; we all use smartphones that can surf the web, run apps, and call people. I expect the same multipurpose functionality to become part of the game console experience too. If not this generation though, maybe the next. Perhaps one day consoles will just disappear from the gaming market altogether, and nothing will be left except for gaming PCs.

A Wonderful Programming Environment

I’ve been using Linux based operating systems (mostly Ubuntu, however I’ve dabbled in some other distributions) for just about a year now. When I first started using Ubuntu, I had no idea how to get anything done. I simply had the operating system installed on my computer for the fact of having it rather than using it. I came in with the desire for a Windows-like experience and almost no will to try anything else, so I didn’t make it very far. However, I was lucky enough to have a software engineering internship this past summer and had a wonderful group of engineers help me in the process of getting acquainted with Linux. In the beginning of the internship I dabbled in the terminal only when it was necessary, used gedit to write all of my programs, and didn’t even know how to compile my C++ code. Through the internship, I got used to bash and many of its powerful features, I learned to use vim (a program that could only be described as a nightmare to me when I used it first), and I learned to use python and GCC to develop scripts and programs to achieve my tasks. While I could do many of these things in Windows, my productivity soared in Linux. Linux now has claimed its place as my favorite development environment. Frankly, it’s just fun to program in Linux.